Material and Methods

LAKEBOS will integrate two distinct methodologies: 1. Archaeozoology and 2. Archaeogenetics.

Cattle data from at least 28 Neolithic sites in western Switzerland, 19 Neolithic sites in eastern Switzerland, and 3 sites from the Swiss Bronze Age will be collated from both already existing databases and the literature. Genetic work will focus on cattle at the site of Twann.

Biometrical analyses
for tracking body size and shape fluctuations. This involves a study of measurements from cattle remains. Scatterplots and size index scaling techniques will be used in order to analyse these datasets. Biometrical study will be used with the aim of a) Comparing cattle body size between time periods/regions; b) Detecting populations containing more robust or slender cattle, and the potential for different geographic types; c) Detecting the ratios of male and female cattle; and d) Identifying potential samples for genetic analyses.

Age-at-deathanalyses will be undertaken using mandibular tooth eruption and wear data. This will determine what kind of products a cattle population was being exploited for (e.g. meat, milk and/or traction). It will also enable a comparison of animal husbandry practices between time periods/regions.

LAKEBOS will involve the analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from ancient cattle bone recovered from the site of Twann.This will allow us to look for the potential of new genetic groups being brought into Switzerland from neighbouring regions. These results can also be crossed with the biometrical study, which will identify groups based on size and shape.